Why Is My Dog's Blood Albumin Level Abnormal ?
Why Is My Cat's Blood Albumin Level Abnormal ?
To see what normal blood and urine values are for your pet, go here
For an explanation of causes of most abnormal blood and urine tests go here
To see how tests are often grouped, go here
Ron Hines DVM PhD
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Your Pet's Blood Albumin Level
Reasons That Your Pet's Blood Albumin Level Might Be Low (hypoalbuminemia) :
Here are some reasons for low blood albumin levels that come to mind - there are many less common reasons:
Food absorption problems such as IBD that limit protein absorption from your dog or cat 's diet and similar maldigestion/malabsorption problems can lower the amount of protein available for albumin formation in your pet's liver.
Triad Disease Of Cats , including cholangiohepatitis, when your pet's liver, intestinal, pancreatic or gall bladder functions have been compromised
Intestinal Parasites , when intestinal inflammation is severe enough to leak blood proteins and hinder the absorption of replacement protein nutrients in your pet's diet
When your dog or cat is fed a diet that is too low in protein or when the quality of the protein ingredients that make it up is poor.
Starvation or anything that lessens your pet's appetite or its willingness to eat will eventually cause its blood albumin levels to drop.
Destructive Liver Disease , when the liver's role in albumin synthesis (production) is interfered with. Your pet's liver is the source of the albumin that circulates in its blood.
Portosystemic liver shunts , a situation where absorbed nutrients and toxins bypass your pet's liver.
Sarcoptic Mange , when inflammation and skin damage allow the loss of serum proteins in the fluids that ooze from the pet's skin lesions.
Burns , when skin damage allow the loss of serum proteins in the fluids that ooze from the wounds.
Major blood loss , when more albumin protein is lost in the blood that is lost than can be replenished rapidly by your pet's liver.
Large amounts of emergency IV fluids , when the volume given is sufficient to dilute the concentration of albumin in your pet's blood stream.
Acute (sudden) inflammations that cause a negative acute phase response .
Reasons That Your Pet's Blood Albumin Level Could Be High (hyperalbuminemia) :
Over-production of albumin is not known to occur.
But dehydration, prolonged fever or shock can concentrate the ingredients of your pet's blood, making albumin, globulin and your pet's blood electrolytes appear high (while the A:G ratio remains normal).
Albumin levels can falsely appear to be high when the sample was improperly drawn, handled or is lipemic.
Complementary Tests :
CBC /WBC and Blood Chemistry panel, Fecal exam for parasites , tritrichomonas (in cats) , total protein, trypsin-like immunoreactivity test (TLI), B12 /Folate tests, fecal alpha-1 test, Diet analysis, ultrasound, liver/ kidney biopsies